Steps to Take Before & After You Get a Washington State Business License

steps to get a washington business license

If you’re considering getting a Washington state business license, it’s probably because you either (a) are about to move there with your current business, or (b) already live there and want to start a new business. Either way, there are some important things to note both before and after you get your Washington state business license.

In this post, we’ll dive into some general information on business licenses before discussing how you can form your business in Washington state and where you can go to get assistance every step of the way.

General Information on Washington State Business Licenses

As a business owner, you are responsible for ensuring your business has the right licenses and permits to operate legally. You need to make sure you’re covered not only at the state level, but at local and federal levels as well. Depending on what type of business you are conducting, you may also need to apply for and acquire special permits or additional licenses, such as a liquor license.

Washington state has their own set of business license and permit requirements you should be aware of. The State of Washington website lays out all the specific rules and requirements, and they also provide you with the necessary forms to fill out for applying online (or you can find out more information on how to apply by mail). You can also search for business license endorsements.

Forming Your Business and Acquiring Your Washington Business License

Getting a business license usually falls as the third step in forming your business. Here are the typical steps to form your business in Washington state:

  1. File your formation document with the Secretary of State
  2. Receive your Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number
  3. Submit your business license application
  4. Apply for necessary licenses and permits
  5. File your initial report
  6. Obtain a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)
  7. Pay taxes to the Department of Revenue
  8. Get workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance
  9. Remain in compliance

After forming your business and acquiring your business license, there are a couple more things you should know that can help you succeed.

Points to Note Before and After You Get Your License

Before you attempt to get your Washington business license, you should do plenty of research on what it means to operate a business in this state.

One of the first things to consider when starting your new business in Washington is to decide which type of business entity you want to use, and then learn whether it requires you to apply for a business license. So what exactly is a business license? Basically, it grants you the right to operate your business legally in a certain state or city.

When creating your company, you’ll also want to consider where you’re located. Is Washington even one of the best states for forming an LLC? Well, one perk is that Washington has no state income tax, which means you can significantly reduce your tax liability and potentially save yourself thousands of dollars. However, this state does have a high sales tax, which can make purchasing items for your business more expensive.

After you get your company set up in Washington and start conducting business there, your work is not done just yet. You’ll need to ensure that your business licenses are always up to date so you can continue legally operating in Washington state.

Additional Business License Research

If you are reading all of this and still feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to start, you might consider looking for assistance. Researching, acquiring and setting up your business license can be complicated and time-consuming, but you shouldn’t feel like you are in this whole process alone.

That’s why Incfile is here to help! We offer a business license research package for only $99, which will help make sure you’re totally informed about what Washington state business licenses you need. At Incfile, we take the guesswork out of how to obtain a business license and the necessary permits. Not only do we inform you of the necessities, but we can also help do the paperwork for you.

Do you understand the license requirements, but still need help starting your business in Washington state? We can assist you in forming your LLC in Washington for as little as $49 + state fees, and you’ll get the first year of registered agent service for free.

Lisa Crocco

Lisa Crocco is a freelance writer who can be found wandering the aisles of local bookstores or the streets of different cities. Follow her on Twitter or read more of her work.